Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou desu Episode 7

Finally, we are getting Aira’s side of the story. One of the things I really like about Aira’s character was her realistic reaction to having been summoned to this world. Unlike Sei, Aira was shown to be very close to her family. She was just supposed to go to the convenience store, grab dinner and return home again. But just moments after she texted back to her mother, and before she could even take a step out the door, she was summoned to this world. The worst part about it is that she was imeaditely bombarded with the information as the Saint, as opposed to be gently eased into it. Prince Kyle only realized that after she justifiably broke down in front of him when he said there are no records of Saints being able to return home again.

While Aira has gotten to know the somewhat kinder side of Kyle, we the audience know that while he is looking out for her, he is still both an idiot and an obnoxious individual. The audacity to say the reason why he ignored Sei at the ceremony because she looked to be a servant or a wet-nurse (are you FREAKING kidding me?!), so why would the Crown Prince address a woman so clearly beneath him? WOOOOWWWWW, THAT’S SO FREAKING DISRESPECTFUL AND RUDE! Not to mention, he indirectly admitted that he assumed Aira was the Saint just because of her looks. So bugger off dude, your logic doesn’t make any sense!

That’s is also why I find it so hypocritical of him to care about what will become of Aira’s fate, but actively continues to disregard the fact that the same should have been applied to Sei as well. Aira wasn’t the only one summoned over by the ritual he claimed to be responsible for. If that isn’t bad enough, he is in denial that Sei is the Saint. He even doubts the report of how she healed lost limbs!

At this point, it goes without saying Prince Kyle is more concerned about his own succession (as it may end up passed onto the Second Prince Rayne,  who we were briefly introduced to today), and the potential fall out for Aira, than Sei. So he decided he will “play” the role of the incompetent, stubborn crown prince so that the court would take pity on Aira’s situation.

By getting the chance to see Aira’s perspective, we were also able to get a better understanding as to why the King decided against loudly and publicly announcing that Sei has been acknowledge to be the Saint. Since Kyle has already prematurely announced Aira to be the Saint to the general public by taking her around town with his entourage, and is constantly boasting about it, both Sei and Aira will suffer from the fallout and potential confusion that comes with this. So while Kyle wants the court to sympathize with Aira, it is clear the optimal resolution to address this problem is to ensure both girls are involved in saving the Kingdom. It doesn’t matter that one of them isn’t the Saint, so as long as they are participating in the process and earning recognition as they do so, it is certainly one way to address the issue while trying to avoid repeating the same mistakes of putting one on a pedestal over the other. Ironically Kyle expressed how he feared if Aira isn’t the Saint, she would be trapped in the palace for the rest of her life. It was a situation Sei had found herself in until she decided to go explore and happen across the Medical Institute.

Speaking of which, we also got to see how differently Aira and Sei adjusted to their new reality. Aira is a quiet and timid girl and she had a much harder time adjusting. That is largely why Kyle has been spoiling and coddling her, because he is trying to find a way to make her happy and comfortable (he even vowed he would try to find a way for her to return home again). But because he doesn’t do it in moderation, and is pretty much doing everything he assumes is Aira’s best interest, he has actively made it increasingly more difficult for Aira to fit in and form relationships outside of his circle. It also doesn’t help that he himself actively ignores the fact it is frowned upon for boys and girls to be friends with each other if one of them is betrothed to another. That’s why the girls have repeatedly tried to explain this to Aira, but Kyle keeps interfering, which just increases the tension between them. We witnessed this again when Elizabeth sought Aira out, and gently introduced herself while expressing she would like to get to know her, but Kyle imeaditely assumed the worse and told Aira to leave with him.

However it goes without saying, while Aira is a good girl, she isn’t doing herself any favors of not having the courage tell Kyle to back off a bit, and have the chance to properly talk to the other girls to at least explain her side of things. But she isn’t quite there yet. It was sad when she saw Sei and Elizabeth in the hall again, but because she was with Kyle and his group, she chose not to greet the girls. In short, Aira wouldn’t be comfortable with doing it unless she knew he wasn’t within the proximity to interrupt them.

On the flip-side of things, Sei experienced the complete opposite. After being ignored and disregarded by Prince Kyle, for her own self-interests, Sei had to put her foot down. While there were some polite officials to help her out, and she was assigned a maid to take care of her, Sei had nobody. But in hindsight, it was because of that she had the freedom Aira didn’t have. It enabled her to do things at her own pace, form relationships, and eventually found something to do that helped her find her place in this world. So the difficult situation ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Overall this was a fantastic episode. One of the reasons for that is because it was the most fleshed out one we have seen yet. This episode showed us more depth for not just Aira, but Prince Kyle as well. We don’t have to like him, but today we were able to see how he is both flawed and is capable of a gentle heart (but not everyone gets to see that, and seemingly not even his own fiance, awkward…) Actually if anything, he is probably the most flawed character of the entire series thus far. While it’s fine to have nice people, it doesn’t hurt to have some tension to shake things up. Just be smart about it, and you can still have a fluffy light-hearted story.

But as I was watching this episode, it put the spotlight on a glaring flaw this adaption has had that has been bugging me for a while now. And that is the obvious lack of depth for many of the characters, namely with  Albert. As mentioned last week, we hardly know anything about the guy besides the fact he loves Sei. While it is great all to be spoiled with all the fluffy content between him and Sei, the problem is when that’s all we see, it makes their romance anything but a slow-burn. (Some novel readers may disagree with that assessment, but I consider a romance to be a slow-burn if it takes several volumes before they actually confess to each other, but I digress.)

So I decided to go back and read through the first volume again, and sure enough, if you haven’t read it then you are missing out on a number scenes that shows more of not just Albert’s but also Johan’s character. (But it goes without saying, Albert is definitely the one who got the short-end of the stick… Which is even worse given he is the Sei’s love interest!) It is a shame because just as we saw today, it is extremely beneficial to see characters act on their own when the girls aren’t present. It allows us to see a different side of them, which grants them some depth to their characters.

In hindsight, it’s precisely because there isn’t really a whole lot going of that it just makes these interactions even more invaluable. After-all, it’s the dynamics between them that helps breathes life into them. But by choosing to exclude that, they lose their substance, and consequently can cause these characters feel flat and uninteresting when there is actually more to them. So that’s definitely the drawback this adaption has been experiencing thus far.

And finally, on the more positive note, the animation of the water magic was such a treat to watch!


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12 Responses

  1. Yes! Finally! Aira-centric episode! I’m so glad they didn’t skip this! Poor Aira-chan. If I’m being told I can’t go back to my world and meet my family again, I would have cried too (and then punch the stupid prince).

    The idiot prince almost reminded me of Luke from Tales of the Abyss. Almost. He’s not a hopeless case yet, so there’s still a chance for him to grow as a character. But for the time being, I’m looking forward for the moment where the King finally reprimand him.

    • Eva says:

      ROFLMAOOOOOOOO!!! Besides the hair, his obnoxious personality is certainly like Luke before he got his shit together. XD

      Get the popcorn, I’m looking forward to seeing this blow up in his face. He could’ve owned up to it by apologizing to Sei, but nah, he would rather play part as the ‘fool’ (joke’s on him, he is already one).

      • The stupid prince better got his shit together soon….and hopefully, if he will have a character development, his growth won’t involve bringing death to a whole town like Luke did. This novel is not about action and war, but I can actually imagine the stupid prince doing that kind of big mistake that it kinda worried me it might be possible somehow…(^_^;)

        • Eva says:

          I have only read up to Vol 4, but the situation gets handled rather appropriately given the circumstances at hand. I’ll leave it at that!

          • Where do you usually read the novel? I think I’ll give it a try to read it. I’m so curious!

            By the way, I’ve finally finished Hakuoki games!

            • Eva says:

              If you are looking for where to read the original webnovel, you can do so at syosetu!

              I previously read the webnovel through fan translations, however since it has been licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment, those translations have stopped and been taken down. So if you want to read the series, you can purchase it as it has both physical and digital release (physical Vol 3 was just released this month, digital gets early release). The manga has also been licensed and released by the same company.

              Funny enough, this was one the two titles I had been diligently suggesting in their monthly survey until the localization was announced! XD Made me happy to check it off the list to focus on suggesting another one now! If you want to fill it out, wait a bit for this month because they are doing a week of announcements right now for new licenses. See what pops up there and then fill it out afterwards.

              Ooh nice! I’m looking forward to reading about your thoughts on it! I only recently had the chance to finish Sanan’s Kyoto Winds’ route among the added ones! LMAO!

              • Thank you! Looking forward to read it!

                I’ve already written my first Hakuoki route review, which is Sanan’s route, in my wordpress blog. Although, since my review would have spoilers, I recommend you to read the other reviews that I soon going to write later after you finished Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms if you don’t want any spoiler 😀

  2. zztop says:

    I recall the source novels mentioning that Aira was only a naive 16-year old schoolgirl, who’d been pampered and coddled by her parents all her life. To the point she just found it easier to follow her parents’ orders and desires because good things always happened in return.
    It so happened “…the behaviour of Kyle and the others overlapped with her family’s (and) she got used to it. She accepted what was given to her by Kyle, and she moved as he told her to. It was something common for Aira.”

    Which I think also contributes to her inability to properly tell off Kyle about how his actions affect her, because she’s never really had the need or experience to stand up for herself.

    Someone mentioned on another forum on how Aira getting torn away from her good old life without consent must be emotionally devastating for her; a realistic reaction to getting isekai’d that gets glossed over on most isekai stories nowadays.
    I’ve noticed that in most current format otome-josei-isekai stories, said devastation is but for a while; eventually the female lead gets used to it and won’t want to leave after building up new friendships and connections in the other world, even if the chance to return is presented on a silver platter. Especially if the story is romantic and pairs her up with a dashing handsome male lead.

    In fact, I think that’s the biggest difference between the older and newer isekai series.
    Older series were about going on a grand fantasy adventure, but eventually returning back to “mundane” reality and growing mature and wiser for it (aka. Escaflowne, Fushigi Yugi). Current ones are mainly about satisfying the target readers’ desire for escapism, to keep on “living the dream” and not giving up their more fulfilling otherworld life regardless of what connections still exist in their old world.

    • Eva says:

      Well said! And I do wish more isekai stories would actually address the grief by including the realistic reactions of how one would respond if they were suddenly cast off into a foreign world. It actually adds to the characters, as it’s something they must overcome and we get to see how they adjust and adapt to their new realities. Glossing over it is a missed opportunity for teaching us more about the character, regardless of what the genre is set in. When utilized properly, then it shouldn’t feel like it’s something that’s being dragged out.

      Seijo no Maryoku accomplishes this by enabling both Sei and Aira to have almost a year to adjust to the world before being officially thrown into the Saint’s Duties. By imposing a consequence to the summoning ritual (Yuri falling into a coma) it set up an organic situation where they are able to properly grieve and then focus on how they plan to adapt to this world. Aira decided it would be best just to follow what Kyle is saying, even though her heart desires to get to know people outside of her circle. Meanwhile Sei set her eyes on the research institute and decided that’s where she would like to live and work at.

      And you nailed it on the head about the difference between the old and new isekai trends.
      Excellent observation.

      It is also worth pointing out: When there is promise for return, characters are motivated to accomplish their task as quickly and efficiently as possible. But when it is said to be no way to go back, until relationships are actually formed with the people of the new world, it makes sense for the characters to lack that drive to contribute to the cause and would rather choose to find a way to move on with their lives.

      It would certainly be interesting if this series were to bring up the option to return back to their world. I don’t recall hearing much about Sei’s family besides her life as a corporate slave and living alone in her apartment. So if that’s all she has to return to, it would make sense for her to choose to stay in this world for the rest of her days. Aira on the other-hand, if it hasn’t been too long, I imagine she would return home if she was given the opportunity so, only this time, going back stronger than when she had arrived.

      • zztop says:

        Apparently there’s a vocal portion of the webnovel reader community who dislike isekai leads grieving about their past lives, whether they are teleported or reborn.
        According to them, doing so destroys the vicarious immersion they were supposed to enjoy.
        The leads are supposed to fully commit to enjoying their new life/2nd chance in the new fantasy world so readers can enjoy reading about it too, overly focusing on the past stuff is a downer and is discouraged. (Although I have seen Korean webtoons where the leads’ suffering back on earth moulds their personalities in the isekai world to be no-nonsense badasses, to never have to take crap from anyone ever again like it was back in their old world.)

        As for returning back to their world, I don’t think the webnovel has even gotten to that point yet.
        It’s still mainly on Sei’s peaceful, fluffy fantasy life with some slow romance splashed in here and there.
        I expect it’ll be some time until the author decides on an ending.

        • Eva says:

          Honestly I’m not surprised to hear that.

          I’m soooooo hungry to get my hands on Vol 5. =3= Though it appears it won’t be until next year, unless the digital early release makes the 2021 cut. [SOBS]

          I wonder how long this series is going to be though?

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